Ohio State (2-11; 1-7 Big Ten)
at 2011 Big Ten Championships
Saturday and Sunday, March 5-6
Welsh-Ryan Arena
Evanston, Ill
Television: Big Ten Network (4 p.m. ET Sunday)
Talent: Tim Johnson, Jim Gibbons, Lee Kemp
Starters: Click Here
Tickets: Click Here

Saturday, March 5 (Times are Eastern)
11 a.m. Session I Begins (First Round, Quarterfinals)
6 p.m. Session II Begins (Semifinals, Wrestlebacks)

Sunday, March 6 (Times are Eastern)
2 p.m. Session III Begins (Consolation semifinals, Seventh-place matches)
4 p.m. Session IV Begins (First, third and fifth-place matches) (BTN)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State wrestling team will begin the postseason portion of its schedule Saturday when it competes in the 2011 Big Ten Championships at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill. Northwestern is serving as hosts.

The Big Ten Network will air the championship, third and fifth-place matches live at 4 p.m. ET Sunday.

Pre-Seeds Announced
Five Buckeyes earned Top 8 pre-seeds the Big Ten Conference announced Monday. Senior Colt Sponseller (165) and redshirt-freshman Nick Heflin (174) earned No. 2 seeds. At 184 pounds, redshirt-sophomore C.J. Magrum is the No. 8 seed, while a pair of Buckeyes in Ian Paddock (133) and Peter Capone (197) is the No. 8 seeds.

A Brief History
Ohio State has won two Big Ten championships, the last in 1951. The Scarlet and Gray also won the conference title in 1923. In all, 34 individual champions have been crowned. The most recent titlist was Lance Palmer (2007-10) from a year ago at 149 pounds. Kevin Randleman (1991-93) is a three-time winner for Ohio State at both 167 and 177 pounds.

In 2010, Palmer joined David Camaione as a Big Ten Championships Outstanding Wrestler recipient. Camaione was honored in 1960 and this past fall was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame.

Buckeye Freshmen of the Year
Since its inception in 1988, Ohio State has had two wrestlers named Big Ten Freshman of the Year – Jim Johnson in 1995 and Tommy Rowlands in 2001.

During his freshman season, Johnson finished third at the Big Ten championships at 134 pounds. In impressive fashion, Johnson, the fourth-seed, beat No. 2 seed Tony Pariano of Northwestern, 8-6, in overtime for the third-place finish in Bloomington, Ind. In the victory, Johnson recovered from a 5-2 deficit in the final minute for the second time in two days. In the match the day before, Johnson recorded five points in less than 30 seconds with a takedown and 3-point nearfall vs. No. 14 Jason Davids of Minnesota and won a 7-5 decision. 

Rowlands was a third-place finisher at the 2001 Big Ten Championships. The heavyweight from Columbus, Ohio, was the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the nation. Rowlands beat Michigan’s and No. 3-seed Matt Brink, 5-2, to win the third-place matchup. Both wrestlers held on to a scoreless tie until Rowlands escaped the down position to start the second period for the 1-0 lead. He followed with a takedown for the 2-0 lead and held on to win in the waning moments.  

Conference Coach of the Year
Former Ohio State head coach Russ Hellickson earned conference of the year laurels in 1991 and 2002 (co). In 1991, the Buckeyes finished the season 17-4 overall and 6-2 in the Big Ten. The Scarlet and Gray went on to a third-place finish at the conference championships. Following a 20-4 overall record, including 5-3 ledger in the league, Ohio State was fourth in the Big Ten championships.

Did You Know?
Current assistant coach J Jaggers, a Buckeye letterwinner from 2006-09 and two-time NCAA champion at 141 pounds in 2008 and 2009, recorded the second-fastest fall all-time at the Big Ten championships. Jaggers pinned Purdue’s Nick Bertucci in 25 seconds in the second-round consolation match in 2007. 

Buckeyes in the Rankings
A pair of Buckeyes in senior Colt Sponseller and redshirt-freshman Nick Heflin is ranked in the Amateur Wrestling News and Intermat individual polls. Sponseller, a native of Glenmont, Ohio, is seventh in the AWN standings and sixth in the Intermat rankings. Hailing from Massillon, Ohio, Heflin is 11th and 10th, respectively in both polls. 

We’re Going Streaking
Colt Sponseller is currently on an eight-match win streak dating back to Jan. 8 at the National Duals. Since dropping an 8-3 decision to No. 3 Justin Kerber of No. 1 Cornell at the National Duals, Sponseller saw his overall and Big Ten record improve to 19-4 and 7-1, respectively.

Up Next
The 2011 edition of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships will take place March 17-19 in Philadelphia, Pa., at the Wells Fargo Center.